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Title: Entropic and near-field improvements of thermoradiative cells

A p-n junction maintained at above ambient temperature can work as a heat engine, converting some of the supplied heat into electricity and rejecting entropy by interband emission. Such thermoradiative cells have potential to harvest low-grade heat into electricity. By analyzing the entropy content of different spectral components of thermal radiation, we identify an approach to increase the efficiency of thermoradiative cells via spectrally selecting long-wavelength photons for radiative exchange. Furthermore, we predict that the near-field photon extraction by coupling photons generated from interband electronic transition to phonon polariton modes on the surface of a heat sink can increase the conversion efficiency as well as the power generation density, providing more opportunities to efficiently utilize terrestrial emission for clean energy. An ideal InSb thermoradiative cell can achieve a maximum efficiency and power density up to 20.4% and 327 Wm -2, respectively, between a hot source at 500 K and a cold sink at 300 K. Furthermore, sub-bandgap and non-radiative losses will significantly degrade the cell performance.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
FG02-02ER45977; SC0001299; FG02-09ER46577
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 6; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
73 NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND RADIATION PHYSICS; 72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS; devices for energy harvesting; nanophotonics and plasmonics
OSTI Identifier:
1361208

Hsu, Wei -Chun, Tong, Jonathan K., Liao, Bolin, Huang, Yi, Boriskina, Svetlana V., and Chen, Gang. Entropic and near-field improvements of thermoradiative cells. United States: N. p., Web. doi:10.1038/srep34837.
Hsu, Wei -Chun, Tong, Jonathan K., Liao, Bolin, Huang, Yi, Boriskina, Svetlana V., & Chen, Gang. Entropic and near-field improvements of thermoradiative cells. United States. doi:10.1038/srep34837.
Hsu, Wei -Chun, Tong, Jonathan K., Liao, Bolin, Huang, Yi, Boriskina, Svetlana V., and Chen, Gang. 2016. "Entropic and near-field improvements of thermoradiative cells". United States. doi:10.1038/srep34837. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1361208.
@article{osti_1361208,
title = {Entropic and near-field improvements of thermoradiative cells},
author = {Hsu, Wei -Chun and Tong, Jonathan K. and Liao, Bolin and Huang, Yi and Boriskina, Svetlana V. and Chen, Gang},
abstractNote = {A p-n junction maintained at above ambient temperature can work as a heat engine, converting some of the supplied heat into electricity and rejecting entropy by interband emission. Such thermoradiative cells have potential to harvest low-grade heat into electricity. By analyzing the entropy content of different spectral components of thermal radiation, we identify an approach to increase the efficiency of thermoradiative cells via spectrally selecting long-wavelength photons for radiative exchange. Furthermore, we predict that the near-field photon extraction by coupling photons generated from interband electronic transition to phonon polariton modes on the surface of a heat sink can increase the conversion efficiency as well as the power generation density, providing more opportunities to efficiently utilize terrestrial emission for clean energy. An ideal InSb thermoradiative cell can achieve a maximum efficiency and power density up to 20.4% and 327 Wm-2, respectively, between a hot source at 500 K and a cold sink at 300 K. Furthermore, sub-bandgap and non-radiative losses will significantly degrade the cell performance.},
doi = {10.1038/srep34837},
journal = {Scientific Reports},
number = 1,
volume = 6,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {10}
}